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Several researches have proven that green tea is rich in a class of polyphenols known as catechins which give the plant its color. The strongest catechin in green tea is known as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Most experts claim that EGCG increases the rate at which fat is burned, and reduces the absorption of calories from the diet. Green, oolong, and black teas all come from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant.
History of green tea usage
Green tea has been an integral part of the Asian diet for thousands of years. It is believed that drinking several cups a day leads to a longer and healthier life. Scientists have concluded that green tea might act protectively against heart disease, liver disorders, and works as an antibacterial agent to support the immune system. The Chinese are said to be the first ones to discover tea, and the most varieties of tea are found in China. During the famous Tang Dynasty, wild tea was gathered and steamed on a bamboo tray, grinded into a fine pulp called tea mud and then placed into moulds. The tea was then pressed and left to harden.
Tea has played a significant role in Asian culture for centuries as a staple beverage, a curative and a symbol of status.
What makes green tea so special?
The secret of green tea lies in the catechin polyphenols, particularly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). This substance is a powerful anti-oxidant which means that it inhibits the growth of cancer cells. It is proven that it is at least 100 more times more effective than vitamin C and 25 times more effective than vitamin E at protecting cells and DNA from damage believed to be linked to cancer, heart disease and other serious illnesses.
Besides that it also:
- kills cancer cells without harming healthy tissue
- is effective in lowering LDL cholesterol levels
- inhibits the abnormal formation of blood clots
Specific way of preparing the tea is extremely important because green tea leaves are steamed, which prevents the EGCG compound from being oxidized.